The Algoma City Council on Monday night, Aug. 6, cleared the way for the new Robert Ray Gallery in the former Farm Market Kitchen building, 520 Parkway St.

Aldermen voted 8-0 to approve Dale Rustad and Christopher Baugniet’s petition to rezone the property from M-1 Manufacturing to C-1 Commercial, for the fine art and antique gallery. The Robert Ray Gallery opened in time for last weekend’s monthly First Friday Art event in what is developing into an artistic zone in downtown Algoma.

The business partners have operated RiverEdge Galleries, 432 E. Main St. in Mishicot, for 34 years. Their petition indicates they plan to adapt the former Farm Market Kitchen building’s upper level into a retail space and continue to offer the lower level for community meetings and events.

“Our plan for a fine art gallery and antique gallery will complement nicely the nearby VFW hall, marina, winery, brewery and the current galleries on Steele Street,” they said.

The proposal aligns well with the city’s comprehensive plan, which encourages eaterfront commercial businesses to attract tourists – “businesses such as artist shops, craft stores, etc.,” the petition said.

According to the Robert Ray Gallery Facebook page, the business will be open noon-5 p..m. Thursday and Friday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, and 1-4 p.m. Sunday to start.

A grand opening is planned in September.

In other business:

+ The Council approved an ordinance amendment regulating boat traffic on the Ahnapee River during next year’s work replacing the Second Street Bridge.

+ City Administrator Jeff Wiswell reported that a planning consultant expects to submit a draft plan later this month for future use of the closed Algoma Hardwoods buildings and grounds. The city received a grant from the Wisconsin Coastal Management Program to study the future use of the 30-acre complex.

+ Mayor Wayne Schmidt reported that Kewaunee County Sheriff Matt Joski has submitted a non-renewal letter that will end the county’s management services agreement with the Algoma Police Department at the end of this year. The city will embark on a search for a new police chief.

Photo: Robert Ray Gallery page at Facebook